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Roche Is Tops at Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo

by Justin Shaw | Aug 23, 2015

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. – Baylor Roche and his wife, Samantha, are expecting their first child Oct. 20, and he’s hoping the family will make a trip to Las Vegas shortly after.

The 26-year-old steer wrestler took a big step toward that goal Sunday afternoon when he won the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo with a time of 3.7 seconds.

Roche made his run at RMV Riding Park on the first day of the two-day rodeo, and was hoping his time would hold up against a loaded field of bulldoggers, including Luke Branquinho, Blake Knowles, Clayton Moore and J.D. Struxness – who all finished tied for second with 3.9-second times.

“I knew it was a good run, and it was going to win something, but a lot of good guys were up that second day so I wasn’t 100 percent sure I was going to win it,” Roche said. “I really felt like I needed to win this rodeo to give myself a chance (at making the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo). I had a dry couple of weeks, and I needed to get something going fast.”

Roche entered the week 21st in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings. The $5,295 he earned in San Juan Capistrano should move Roche to 18th or 19th in the world, but more importantly, it cut the deficit between him and the 15th spot in half.

It was Roche’s second big win of the 2015 season – as he captured the title at the Fort Worth (Texas) Stock Show Rodeo in February. When he returned home to Tremonton, Utah, after his win in Fort Worth, Roche was met with some big news.

“When I won in Fort Worth I gave an interview (to PRCA media) saying that I didn’t have any kids because I was still a big kid and could barely take care of myself,” Roche said with a laugh. “Then I got home and Samantha joked that I better call them back and change what I said. Things are going to be getting expensive around here, so the more money I can win now, the better.”

With $10 million up for grabs at the WNFR this December, it would be a great time for Roche to qualify for his first trip to rodeo’s Super Bowl.

“It’s been a good year, and it’s been exciting,” he said. “The next five weeks I’ll be going to a lot of rodeos and hope to keep up with the guys ahead of me. I don’t like to look at the standings – but you always have a hint of what you need to do. Being gone all summer long, it would make everything worth it if I could get to the NFR.”

Other winners at $217,684 rodeo were bareback rider Casey Breuer (87 points on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Back Fire), team ropers Erich Rogers and Cory Petska (4.5 seconds), saddle bronc rider Jake Wright (84 points on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Hell’s Fire Hostage), tie-down ropers Sterling Smith and Matt Shiozawa (8.3 seconds each) and bull riders Brennon Eldred (87 points on Flying U Rodeo’s Dark Shadow) and Kody DeShon (87 points on Rosser Rodeo’s Jeepers Creepers).

Courtesy of PRCA